This offering from Gecko Model is well protected in a flip top cardboard tray with an additional card lid with the artwork on it. The sprues are packed in a mix of Ziploc and sealed plastic bags with decals, twine and photo etch also protected in their own bags. The instruction booklet is loose within the box and provides a clear set of construction plans with three finishing options. An examination of the mouldings reveals nothing of concern or that should cause issues. There are ejector pin marks that I believe are all in hidden locations.
Unlike American landing craft the LCA had inner and outer doors; the inner doors I believe protected troops from initial bursts of fire as the inner doors would protect against small arms fire. Both the ramp and inner doors can be set open or closed and I am very pleased to see the twine provided for the ramp looks the part and how to thread the twine is clearly shown. The pilots area is well laid out and this area also offer the pilot protection against small arms fire. Being placed at the front of the vessel the pilot has better awareness of the vessels location as it approaches and lands on the beach. Cleat detail has been well replicated with a choice of design in one case but I do not know what this change applies to.
Moving to the centre section and you have basic seating for troops waiting to land and if you move to the sides overhead cover is provided against the weather. The ribs that create and support the vessels structure are clearly seen here and offer a nice visual detail along with the bolt detail. A ladder is provided to climb onto the upper deck area and I believe for getting troops on board. The grappling hooks are provided with the boxes that hold the ropes and prevents tangles causing issues. These can also be set at the modellers preferred angle of choice. One area of confusion for me is how the grappling hooks were launched, rockets seem the most common method but these do not look to replicate that method.
Moving to the rear of the vessel and the oily parts are covered up and hidden away. The surface detail and texture is clearly seen here and can be seen over the whole model to a very good degree. Rudder and propeller detail is good as is the protective shroud for the rudders when dropping the anchor; the anchor is very nicely detailed and is assembled using 6 different parts. The exhausts and minimal fixtures are again very well covered in this release. Resin detail is also provided and represents what I think is a smoke generator for the vessel.
The exterior of the vessel provides all of the detail I was looking for including the rope bumpers. Surface detail is also again very well replicated. Additional details consist of boat hooks and life rings. For those wanting to display the model as a stand alone item wood effect mounts are provided, and which I believe were used for these vessels on land. The three finishing options provided are all variations of vessels used by US Ranger grappling hook rocket launcher LCA used at Point du Hoc, D-Day 6th June 1944.
This is another excellent release from Gecko Models and company that is very hard to fault due to them taking into account the provision of everything a modeller needs for an accurate model. Construction of this model is not particularly difficult and should prove a pleasing build. My only area of concern are the grapnel launchers as they don’t look like the version I managed to find on-line, but that could be my issue rather than the models itself. What I would like to see if Gecko models release figures for the landing craft. Figures embarking.seated on the vessel and charging the beaches. You also have the choice of several Allied troop set ups and from Gecko will have everything the modeller needs. For those in a rush there is a figure set from MasterBox that will do for a starter set up.